The Avalanche, losers of three of its last four games, will get some defensive reinforcements back in a few days.

Jan Hejda and Ryan Wilson both will likely return Saturday against the Minnesota Wild, coach Patrick Roy said Wednesday. In the meantime, the Avs travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a game Thursday against the Central Division Jets.

Roy said Semyon Varlamov will start in goal against Winnipeg. Hejda suffered a knee injury last week against Edmonton, but has made a quick recovery. He skated at practice Wednesday, albeit in a non-contact jersey.

"He said he was much better than anticipated," Roy said of Hejda. "He said there was maybe still a little bit of (a twinge) when he pivots, but overall he looks good. And (Wilson) was pain-free the entire practice which, in my view, is very positive."

The Avs used different shooting techniques Wednesday, including artificial barriers that exposed only some of the net. Roy wants his team to work harder at getting more quality shots on net, through more traffic.